During the pre World War II military buildup and throughout the war, all Japanese officers were required to wear a sword.
Traditionally made swords were produced during this period but, in order to supply such large numbers of swords, blacksmiths with little or no knowledge of traditional Japanese sword manufacture were recruited.
Presently in Japan Showato are not considered to be true Japanese swords and they can be confiscated; outside Japan they are collected as historical artifacts..
Murata Tsuneyoshi (1838-1921), a Japanese general who previously made guns, started making what was probably the first mass-produced substitute for traditionally made samurai swords.
The non traditionally made swords from this period are called "Showato" and in 1937 the Japanese government started requiring the use of special stamps on the tang to distinguish these swords from traditionally made swords.
During this wartime period antique swords from older time periods were remounted for use in military mounts.
In response to rising nationalism within the armed forces, a new style of sword was designed for the Japanese military in 1934.
The shin guntō was styled after a traditional slung tachi of the Kamakura period (1185-1332).
Military action by Japan in China and Russia during the Meiji period helped revive the manufacture of swords and in the Shōwa Period (1926-1989) before and during World War II swords were once again produced on a large scale.It was designed to resemble an officer's Shin Guntō but be cheaper to mass-produce.All NCO swords had machine made blades with deep fullers (bo hi) and a serial number stamped on the blade in arabic numerals.is the name used to describe Japanese swords produced for use by the Japanese army and navy after the end of the samurai era in 1868.
In the following era (Meiji Period 1868-1912) samurai armour, weapons and ideals were gradually replaced with western influenced uniforms, weapons and tactics.In addition, supplies of the type of Japanese steel (tamahagane) used for sword making were limited so several other types of steel were substituted.